News Release

Published on Monday, May 23, 2011

Wisconsin unemployment figures peaked in 2009-2010, however technical college graduates continued to find employment, according to the Wisconsin Technical College System. The System’s new Graduate Follow-up Report indicates 88 percent of last year’s technical college graduates were in the labor force within six months of graduation, up two percent from 2009.

Locally, Western Technical College’s results were even more impressive with 92 percent of grads employed within six months, up five percent from the previous year.

“This strong job placement is the result of technical colleges providing our graduates the skills
Wisconsin employers need,” said Dan Clancy, president of the Wisconsin Technical College System. Technical colleges respond to local employers by designing programs to meet their particular needs. “Employees who may have been laid off are retraining and heading back to employment with relevant skills,” Clancy added.

The Graduate Follow-up Report by Wisconsin’s Technical Colleges details the median salary for new associate degree graduates as $35,700. The median salary overall for technical college graduates is $31,200. Comparatively, the median salary for new associate degree Western grads is $35,266 and overall grads is $30,524.

Results show that Wisconsin only lost six percent of its technical college graduates to other states. Despite the proximity to Minnesota, 90 percent of Western grads stayed in Wisconsin for employment.

The system-wide study also revealed that 97 percent of respondents said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the education they received from their local technical college. And, at Western, that number bumped up to 98 percent.

The WTCS Graduate Follow-up Report survey was sent to 27,712 graduates from 2009 and 68 percent responded. That includes 1,415 Western graduates with 74 percent, or 1,037, responding. The report examines employment status, earnings, and other factors approximately six months after graduation. The full report is available at

The Wisconsin Technical College System has 16 technical college districts throughout Wisconsin, which offer more than 300 programs awarding two-year associate degrees, one and two-year technical diplomas and short-term technical diplomas. In addition, the System is the major provider of customized training and technical assistance to Wisconsin’s business and industry community. More than half of all adults in Wisconsin have accessed the technical colleges for education and training. Find more about educational programs at